Saturday, December 14th, 2013 at 5:08 pm  |  32 responses

Dennis Rodman To Train North Korea’s Basketball Team


Continuing his exploits with his good friend Kim Jong-Un, Dennis Rodman will travel to North Korea next week to train the North Korean basketball team, according to the Associated Press:

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman plans to travel to North Korea next week to train its basketball team, a trip unaffected by the execution of leader Kim Jong Un’s uncle.

Rodman considers Kim a close friend and has a long-scheduled trip that starts Monday to train the national team. Rodman also has organized an exhibition game in January in Pyongyang to celebrate Kim’s birthday. Rodman could reveal the roster next week. He says former professional basketball players have committed to the game, though he declined to reveal names.

“Yes, I’m going to North Korea to train the basketball team,” he told The Associated Press by phone. “I’m going to bring American players over there. Yes I am. I’m going to be the most famous person in the world when you see American people holding hands and hoping the doors can be opened. If they can. If they can. If they can. I’m going. I’m going back for his birthday. Special.”

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  • Max


  • Ugh

    When ex-Presidents and ex-Prime Ministers go to dictatorships it’s hailed as an ‘unofficial peace process’. When current Foreign Ministers or Secretaries of State do it, it’s hailed as a ‘diplomatic breakthrough’. When a HoFer does it, it’s a puzzle or a laugh.
    The world is weird.

  • LLC#12

    I agree with you mostly, but Rodman isn’t exactly your every day HoFer. I think people would react quite differently if it was someone else, rightly or wrongly.

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    That’s an understatement

  • brothasdontsurf

    North Korea Lineup
    PG: Kim Jong Un
    SG: Kim Jong Un
    SF: Kim Jong Un
    PF: Kim Jong Un
    C: Kim Jong Un

  • Dagger

    That’s because a retired sports star is not a current or former politician, and so would not (usually) engage in diplomacy. Especially not Rodman. Not so weird when you think about it.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    “dictatorship” is nothing but a stupid buzzword that is politically meaningless. It’s amazing how Westerners talk about “totalitarianism” yet the world’s pre-eminent “democracy”, the USA, has the world’s largest prison population by FAR, as well as the highest incarceration rate in the world. 25% of the world’s prison population is located in the US. African-Americans, who make up 13% of the US population, account for 40% of the prisoners. There are actually more black people in prison right now than there were slaves in the 1800s at the peak of slavery. If there’s a dictatorship, it’s in the US–a dictatorship of the capitalist-imperialist class.

  • The Mauve Avenger

    Serious question here, what kind of ramifications is Rodman facing by fraternizing with a nation the US has been at odds with for decades. Isn’t this equivalent to an American doing business with Cuba?

  • The Mauve Avenger

    I see your point. American politicians aren’t generally respected or trusted abroad and an American who has fame but no political power would be the ideal candidate for going to a rogue state like North Korea and acting in the geopolitical interest of the US.

  • Smits#45

    Mwa, I don’t know. If I where Rodman I would place Kim Jong Un of the bench and have Kim Jong Un start.

  • brothasdontsurf

    Why would he try to get fired already?

  • initbruv

    No we are a democracy. The reason there’s an oligarchy and oppression of the working class is that the people are morons and they have continually supported politicians and ideologies that perpetuate this situation. John Steinbeck said something along the lines of “the reason America never embraced socialism is that the poor don’t see themselves as poor. They see themselves as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”

    Nobody seized power. We gave (give) it to them on a platter. There’s no stopping it now until capitalism collapses.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    That was literally the worst comment I’ve ever read on this site. Not even exaggerating.

    So the working class are morons now, huh? It totally has nothing to do with the fact that the state exists solely for the suppression of class struggle, right? All those black people being thrown in prison–they’re morons too, right? COINTELPRO was because Americans are morons, right? The police bombing the MOVE home in Philly… it’s because those MOVE folks were morons who voted the government into power, right?

    Only some privileged white d0uche bag would say some stupid nonsense like that. Yeah, keep trying to vote the bourgeoisie out of power–great solution.

    PS: F*ck you, you classist piece of sh!t.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    You need to stop reading Hitchens and Chomsky and all the rest of those sh!tty white liberals who are at the outer edge (but still inside) the spectrum of allowable dissent. Start with Marx… liberalism is gross.

  • initbruv

    Lol relax. Yeah the working class are morons. How does any Republican get elected with the votes of poor whites? Because they’re morons. I worked construction and these dudes would be listening to Rush Limbaugh and talking to the rich f*ck whose houses they were building and they were on the same page about everything politically. How does that happen? Because they’re morons.

    Meanwhile there are broke a** people on the left who say things like “dictatorship is a stupid buzzword that is politically meaningless.” Then they say things like don’t vote (which somewhere around 50% of people don’t), which is literally the only potential for having a decent country to live in. Really there is no left in America. There are people who are left wing but there is no political left in politics because they end up like you: giving up, not voting, and not even willing to fight this sh*t that we all agree on. Great.

    You live in a country of fools. And you clearly are as well since you’ve determined that I’m privileged lol. You have no idea who you are talking to right now. I am part of the under class and have been my whole life. You just think I’m a privileged rich kid because I can type without using all caps and without getting emotional.

  • initbruv

    I’ve definitely read more Marx than I have Hitchens and Chomsky. Again, you do not know who you are having a discussion with right now.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    K I’ll actually try to explain this. Seriously, what you just suggested is idealist clap-trap (liberalism) that actually reinforces capitalist ideology. Actually no, it IS capitalist ideology.

    The reason there is oppression of working class people, the reason why poverty exists, is because capitalism itself is a system of exploitation. Capitalism is a system whereby a minority of the population (the ruling class) controls the means of production, and so we have the market system in which production is geared toward the profit of this ruling class, as opposed to the needs of the population. Capitalism relies on the majority of the population (the working class) being dispossessed of property (aka means of production–NOT “possessions”, but PROPERTY as was used by classical liberalists). Having no property, the working class has nothing to sell but their own labor-power, and are thus forced, out of necessity/survival, into selling their labor-power and entering into a relation where their labor is exploited. (As it happens there’s a scientific, quantifiable definition of exploitation too).

    So yeah, capitalism is to blame, but what perpetuates capitalism? Why don’t the working class just revolt? The thing is, class struggle is ALREADY happening around us, we just haven’t yet reached a revolutionary moment. But in any event, the reason that capitalist relations still exist is NOT JUST because of ideas and beliefs–the things in people’s heads–but because the ruling class has at its disposal various organs of class repression which reproduce capitalist relations (the most important being relations of production, i.e. boss vs. workers).

    These organs of class repression can use brute physical force i.e. the police and military, which exist primarily to protect private property (So for example, any time workers or oppressed people revolt or “riot”, the police come in and crush them physically). OR they can be ideological apparatuses like schools, colleges, news and media, film, television, etc. which reproduce (through ideology) capitalist relations of production. Every single child in the US goes through an intense, vehemently anti-Communist/anti-socialist education.

    Incidentally, these organs of class repression are collectively known as “the state”. That’s what a state is, literally, in a nutshell; that’s the material function of the state. In a socialist state, the ruling class are the workers who repress the capitalist class in order to prevent the restoration of capitalist exploitation; in a capitalist society, the ruling class are the owners/wealthy capitalists who repress the workers in order to prevent a revolution and to protect their ownership over the means of production… so as to orient production toward accumulating wealth for themselves.

    So yeah, the reason oligarchy and oppression exists is completely independent of the way the people vote, or the intelligence level of the masses (although seriously, if you weren’t a privileged affluent wh!te male, actually in touch with the masses intead of having contempt for them like a petty-bourgeis sh!thead, maybe you’d see things differently).

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Oh my gawd, lol. You are such a textbook liberal-lefty that it’s kind of funny. Let me guess though, you probably read Marx as some sh!tty humanist, right? Tell me where Marx says you can change the mode of production through voting, LOL. In fact, tell me what Marx’s definition of dictatorship is? Clearly you haven’t, because historical materialism completely refutes Great Man theory, which is what the liberal definition of “dictatorship” espouses.

    Yeah, there’s a reason why people in the West (not just the US) are generally less revolutionary than the people of the Global South–not including internally colonized people–and it’s actually pretty simple to understand.

    Would you like to know what it is? There’s actually, SHOCKER, a material basis for it, and not some disgusting anti-worker explanation like the masses being stupid, which could only come from idealist petty-bourgeois d0uchebags who think they’re such unique snowflakes and that the world would be SAVED if only we understood your geniusness.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Nobody seized power??? So the countless instances (I’ll name them if you like) of workers being massacred by capitalist-imperialist armies… That’s not using brute force to maintain power? And the bourgeoisie didn’t seize power from the feudal landlords, in order to revolutionize the social relations and bring about a new mode of production (today known as capitalism)? I don’t think you’ve read Marx, buddy.

    Do yourself a favor, and I mean this in good faith: read “The German Ideology” by Marx, and then read “State and Revolution” by Lenin. Then talk to actual commies/socialists involved in the struggle, get in touch with actual revolutionaries and oppressed people. You won’t regret it.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    K first off let me apologize… I just read your comment properly and I totally get where you’re coming from. Jesus I REALLY jumped the gun and shouldn’t have insulted you or condescended like that, that was f*cked up. Sorry man. If I had a Discus account I’d edit my comments to take that nonsense out… and you are a prole, so I shouldn’t have been telling you sh!t like “get in touch with workers/oppressed people”. I can totally get where you’re coming from. White workers CAN be (but this is still only a portion of them) reactionary and these people will go against their class interests, that is true.

    Let’s discuss this further if you like… Again, my bad.

  • Initbruv

    Dude you just explained to me what Marxism is in a nutshell (very concisely and eloquently, I have to say) as though I didn’t just say that I read Marx.

    The first paragraph that you wrote is in reference to what he calls the economic structure. He said a capitalist
    economic order inevitably leads to a lack of freedom for the workers. What follows from private property, the separation of labor, wages, competition,etc, is ultimately the devaluation of the worker to the level of a commodity. Capital becomes accumulated in a small number of peoples’ hands, and the whole of society is divided into two classes-the property owners and the workers, who are devoid of property. The workers have no commodities to offer the marketplace except their labor, which they sell for a wage. This order results in what he called alienation: the estrangement of man from object; the estrangement of man from labor; estrangement of man from his species; and the estrangement of man from man.

    The next few paragraphs you wrote are about what he called the superstructure. The ruling class in a given society dominates the world of ideas just like they dominate the modes of production. The result of this is that the lower class, having no means to influence the production of ideas, is subject to the ruling ideas. Naturally, the ruling ideas reflect the current material relationship since those who benefit from the current order have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.

    The idea is that as the proletariat numbers grow larger and capital becomes more concentrated in the hands of a few, they will begin to realize their collective potential. Eventually, they will overthrow the ruling class and seize state power. He said that this could come in the form of a general strike, a bloody civil war, or a peaceful election. In any case, due to their superior numbers, he believes they will have the advantage. Once they seize power they can abolish bourgeoisie property (which is the initial source of the problems of the relations of production) and establish a government run by and for the proletariat. From there they can abolish classes by transforming the conditions of labor and ending the aforementioned alienation.

    I’m guessing that where we disagree is on this last part. From what you wrote, I’m assuming that you think we are close to reaching this point of consciousness. I don’t think we are at all. That was the point of my diatribe before.

    All in all I take back what I said about you being a fool. I just disagree that there is any sort of consciousness in society. I think capitalism won’t fall till it falls on its own.

  • Initbruv

    I have to leave for work actually but I will get on later and respond to any more thoughts you might have. I genuinely enjoy reading what you have on your mind and I’m sorry I called you a fool. I was wrong. Talk to you later.

  • pposse

    Barbed Wire Part 2

  • Mike From Spain


    There is a statistical correlation between holding classical liberalism views and higher IQ. Discuss :)

  • Tarzan Cooper

    teddy is dumb.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    That article is sh!tty. There’s no way Cuba was more “right-wing” than Thatcher’s Britain… wtf? Also you lose a million points for sharing a Daily Mail story (a rag which was pro-Hitler in the 1930s).

  • Tarzan Cooper

    I believe in the illuminati. Argument refuted (my own).

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Just one example of US state repression of class struggle.


  • Mike From Spain

    Saying that they are morons is bad framing. Perhaps it is better to put it as ‘wilfully kept ignorant by the ruling elites’. More to your liking?

  • initbruv

    Yeah and that had been going on for quite some time too by that point. In 1892 in Homestead Pennsylvania, Carnegie decided that his steel workers couldn’t organize any more. They went on strike and he hired the Pinkerton Detective Agency who brought in armed guards to break up the strike. The detectives were overwhelmed by the strikers so Carnegie’s man in Homestead (Frick) appealed to the Governor of Pennsylvania, who brought in the state militia. Union leaders were charged with treason, murder, and rioting.

    The thing is that Marx was against unions because they are really just a compromise within capitalism, they don’t disrupt the capitalist order. That’s how it worked for a while: the strikers would finally start to gain some leverage and some concessions from businesses, but not too much. Eventually they lost the support of the public and, of course, businesses, and now they are basically only in the public sector.

  • initbruv

    I mean I don’t want to seem like I’m overstating my case about people being the problem because a lot of people haven’t had a say for a good portion of our history. The irony is that America always calls itself the bastion of liberty and democracy (and has called itself that since the revolution) but that’s not true. They sure weren’t a democracy for most of history.

    Really, until the Voting Rights Act there was still state sanctioned repression of voting and even after that there were still little tricks to try to make sure black and brown people couldn’t vote. Hell, they repealed key parts of the Voting Rights Act over the summer and states like Texas instantly put in voted ID laws aimed at suppressing the black vote.

    Plus, you were talking about our prison systems and how a huge percentage of the people in prison are black and brown. A large percentage of those people are non-violent drug offenders who are disproportionately charged because they are black. Among federal prisoners, black people are 20 times more likely to receive life without parole for non violent crimes. The people that do get out can’t vote. In other words, we still suppress voting.

    America’s image of itself has always been a fantasy.

  • shockley22

    Re: Chomsky. Please don’t conflate with Hitchens.

    Also: Glad you two could agree, sometimes truth gets lost in semantics and the baggage of ideology. That’s why Chomsky rarely gets tied up in either. He sticks to facts and logic. Speaking of facts — none of the facts either of you bring up are unknown to Chomsky and many of the same or the same type are used by him frequently to make the same points you two are making. Drug wars as racist and classist opression? Check Chomsky in the news in the last few days. Neither of you can teach Chomsky ANYTHING about socialism, communism, capitalism, indoctrination, propaganda. His thing is community (see? the word has in it the same root as ‘communism’). His anti-thing is State (a power sysytem dedicated to preserving power).